Utah teen convicted in deadly crime jag
PROVO, Utah — A jury found a Utah teenager guilty Saturday in a 50-mile crime spree that left one sheriff’s deputy dead and another wounded.
Meagan Grunwald, 18, was desperately in love with her much older boyfriend and would do anything to stay with him, including driving a speeding getaway car in the three-county chase, prosecutors say. The teenager tearfully told a jury that she was too afraid to stop driving when the man she loved turned the gun on her and threatened to kill her family.
The Provo jury of six women and two men began deliberating Friday afternoon. They returned with a verdict about 12:35 a.m., said court spokeswoman Nancy Volmer.
Grunwald could receive a term of life in prison when she is sentenced July 18 in the January 2014 chase that included a carjacking. Her boyfriend, 27-year-old Jose Angel Garcia-Jauregui, was killed in a shootout with police. Grunwald is ineligible for the death penalty because she was 17 when it happened.
Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride was killed.
The two-week trial included testimony from a deputy shot in the head during the chase and a woman who pulled her child out of her car as it was stolen at gunpoint.
Grunwald took the stand in her own defense, telling the jury that being in the car with Garcia-Jauregui was like looking at a devil.
But prosecutors sharply questioned her testimony.